Mercedes-Benz to launch first premium brand pickup
German luxury carmaker explores new territory with its upcoming model
Don't adjust your screens - Mercedes has genuinely announced a new pickup, due to be launched before the end of the decade, as part of its plans for sustained global growth. Touted as the first pickup to be developed by a premium manufacturer, it will be engineered by Mercedes’ Vans division.
The brand is entering a burgeoning market sector, with Mercedes claiming that an increasing number of commercial, as well as private owners are asking for utility vehicles that have car-like characteristics.
The new model will, initially at least, be targeted at the growing mid-size pickup markets: Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe. As Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes Cars, explains, 'The Mercedes-Benz pickup will contribute nicely to our global growth targets.'
The German marque believes that the market is ready for such a bold move from the company, likening the strategy to the successful introduction of the original M-Class around 20 years ago, which Mercedes says was the first 'sports utility vehicle'. Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes Vans, states, 'As part of our "Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global" strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model.'
Mercedes-Benz Vans Division is responsible for the machine’s development, and aims to combine typically utilitarian capabilities with the look, feel and safety of a Mercedes passenger car.
As Zetsche continues, 'We will enter this segment with our distinctive brand identity and all of the vehicle attributes that are typical of the brand with regard to safety, comfort, powertrains, and values.'
Although an unusual proposition, being the first dedicated Mercedes pickup in history (variants of the G-wagen were the first pickups overall from the firm), a utilitarian vehicle is not the significant leap for the marque that it may first seem.
Mercedes Vans Division is already a successful sub-brand, boasting record sales in both 2013/14, selling the V-Class and Vito models, and Mercedes has long (and successfully) produced heavy goods vehicles too. As a result, the idea of a pickup Mercedes is not as groundbreaking as it sounds.